Comments Two

November 27, 2009

Sex, chocolate, and puppies, yes!

Corpse, yes, but Internet Guru doesn’t tell me enough.

Giant Clam not hitting it for me.

Good luck!


It pains me to say so, but I think I’m a crocodile. I lurk. I might even be a bottom dweller. I’m patient, tenacious . . .

I won’t go on! Thanks for a really fun reflection.


I think the crocodile quiz is an adjunct to the Lawyers and Bankers headline.

Art C.

My favorite is “Are You A Cheetah Or A Crocodile?”

Happy to help.


I’m very interested in not only working from home but working from my pool, so an underwater computer is exactly what I am looking for. Scuba gear not included.



I think talking about the generation gaps is going to be interesting to follow. Of course, I also look forward to the tabloid in you coming out in your blogs!


Ellen, an underwater computer is an interesting concept. I will surely visit the site.

Just arrived in NY on the red-eye from AZ. A lot cooler here, thank you. In Arizona, we just set a record for 13 consecutive days of 100+ temps. And summer’s yet to arrive.


Re a Baby Boomer versus other generations series, the possibilities are endless. I think you should focus on the disparity between thoughtless youth and elder wisdom. It will provide you with all kinds of interesting material to write about.


Looks good so far, Ellen! good luck!


Ellen, re Boomers: Writing about the past and about the future could be endless. The concerns of our generation for the future of our youth (and vice versa) given the complex problems of today . . . great subject for a series.


Will there also be crocodiles in the swimming pool? That could make focusing on the computer challenging. I will be interested in hearing more!

Loyally, Cindy

The biggest response to any blog I have written was to a blog post titiled: “What do Credit Card Rates and Guns have in Common?” The blog spoke about the recent Senate vote where the senator from Oklahoma added an amendment, which allows people to carry concealed weapons into National Parks, to a bill that was meant to restrain the bad practices of credit card companies.

So mention guns, and that wiill get people’s attention. The next highest response came from a blog titled “Baby Boomers, Harleys and Lingerie.”

Provocative and/or sensational titles work best.


What’s so funny about an underwater computer? Sounds perfect.

You should hear the ring tone my daughter put in her phone for me. It’s a dweebie techno computer sound, and the photo that pops up is me sitting in the Jacuzzi with an elaborate setup to keep my laptop dry.

I’m in the Jacuzzi, connected to my office through at least two different computers at once, with an I-phone on one side, non-alcoholic beer on the other side , HD exterior TV mounted in front, and a music system giving me good sounds.

My staff has a cartoon on the refrigerator in the office kitchen of a guy in a bathtub with about the same high tech set up. The name Mike is printed on the bathtub.

And I think that’s perfectly normal.



Go, Content!

David (Another Boomer)

Only 7 out of 10 are nude? That must be because 3 out of 10 have computers with an unpredictable built-in camera.


I feel amused at this moment, but I will admit, I am not bloggin’ in the buff.

Maybe that could be a new Linked In group: the Buff Bloggers! You’d have to be very fit, of course. I don’t know about you, but I know I am aging like 100% of the population – darn!

Go forth and blog!


Content is King. You go, girl!


Go Ellen! I look forward to following your blogs. I love your writing!


From Community Marketing site, on the four-part Results series:

WOW, I love the wording, and they do get my attention. Thanks and keep up the great work!


Interesting to see what other people find interesting. If I were a member of your poll, my choices would be somewhat different.

R. B.

Sex always sells.


I loved the Thailand Swallowed by a Clam. True hook from your tabloid days!


Interesting experiment. When I first clicked on the Corpse title, it was because I wanted to find out more. I was surprised by the outcome.

Every story needs a “hook.” You have wonderfully captured the essence of a hook.

I believe the hook is what titillates the reader in order to read further. It does not surprise me that a corpse and kinky sex top your list. But I am surprised that “7 Out of 10 Blog In the Nude” was not more popular.

I believe that attitudes form the basis for people’s decisons in life. What I would find interesting is the demographics of the people who responded to your headlines.

I would suspect that attitude, age, and life experience would play a role in what headline a person chose. Also a person’s employment status (or lack thereof) may influence which headline they chose. For instance, a person laid off from the financial industry (or concerned about losing a job in that industry) would be more likely to choose the reality show. This tells me that a headline needs to consider and incorporate its market.

All in all, very well done and very interesting!


Hi Ellen.

I can’t remember enjoying anything as much as this. You’re a real gem!

Bob S.

This is a very interesting experiment. Love the idea Ellen !!! Look forward to more follow-up. That must have been one giant clam!! :)


Ellen, I wonder if other factors could have been at play here. Could it have been timing? Was “corpse” your first release? Just wondering.


I was thinking of all the things to catch people’s eyes. Thanks Ellen, this is really interesting. Great to see what others chose.


You engaged me with your blog experience, and I even ended up reading an interview with you on your vision for us Boomers. I’ll try to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. I want to earn a slot on your executive committee!


The US has at least one transgender mayor who seems to be doing a perfectly good job, and countless trans people in all walks of life and jobs.

Why that title made it into the list of “eye-catching, funny, or downright titillating” seems uncreative at best and offensive at worst. Thank goodness other voters agreed and didn’t bother to click on it very much.


(From me)


Please read Part Two, and you’ll see why the Transvestite Mayor title was included.

It was not meant to be “funny” at all, just typical of one kind of headline tabloids perennially use.

This research project is all about readers’ clicking and viewing behavior, not about social issues.

Please read Part Two – and the upcoming Part Three – in this spirit.

Thank you.


Years ago, I remember a film called Kentucky Fried Movie that had a television station that used the little promos that were eye-catching. My favorites: “Rams plagued by fumbles as earthquate strikes Los Angeles” and “Moscow in flames, missles headed towards New York, film at 11:00.”

On a more serious note, I can’t wait for the day that the media starts pushing stories about people who do good things as opposed to pushing stories of crime, fraud and tragedy.

David G.

Me – I just like anything with someone killing off Internet Gurus. I guess many others agree.


Very interesting results, Ellen. I’ll have to keep in mind for my next writing venture that corpses trump hamsters, hands down.

David A.

I would be in the 3 out of 10 that do not blog in the nude. I find that it upsets my co-workers.


I love your sense of humor and would kill to write as well as you do. . . keep it coming!


Ellen, Thanks for another entertaining and informative blog. When I post a blog, I usually just stick any old title on it, as long as it relates somewhat to the content of the blog. I don’t put much if any thought into it. Now I know that I have to.

It’s the old adage of only having 20 seconds to capture someone’s attention, and I guess our best chance is with a creative and outstanding headline. These days, it also needs to be one that stands out in a long list of blogs to which one subscribes, or your RSS feed, or in your inbox . . . all-in-all, the new magazine rack.


Tabloid or not, your headlines are sticky, which is better than dangling a carrot. Better yet, your content keeps me intrigued!


This is really interesting: “I became a tabloid writer, with a rather strange specialty virtually nobody else shared – turning serious business articles into fodder for a tabloid audience.”

One would think that people reading tabloids wouldn’t be particularly interested in business articles. Did you gain a following?


(From me)


I would find serious articles tabloid editors wouldn’t be likely to read and look for something in them a tabloid readership might enjoy.

For instance, it was the period oil workers in Russia were first coming into the Far East of that country and raising a ruckus, with crime rates skyrocketing.

So we turned it into a story called “The Wild, wild East,” focusing on the barroom brawls, brothels, and general mayhem that even the most staid of commentators admitted made this region at that time resemble a typical cowboy movie – with a twist, because it was Russia.

That’s a good example.


Ha ha! I LOVE the Hamster headline!


I must say you are wonderfully creative!

So how do we all take the information you present and make it relevant to our daily life experiences? How is that information relevant to marketing our business ventures?

Is your thesis that presenting information with a shocking “headline” is the only effective way to grab someone’s attention? If so, how does one account for people’s differing levels or threshholds of shock?

But I think you are on to something, Ellen.


(From me)


No, I am not saying it’s the only way.

Read the Addendum. I’d like us all to share techniques we have found effective on the Internet.


You have done a terrific job of conveying valuable information. I hope your efforts pay off, Ellen.


Ellen, you go girl! Al we Boomers are pullin’ for you.



I read all three so far and will bookmark.

Outside of thoroughly enjoying your sense of humor, my mind is spinning on how your Faux 10 discussion relates to the concept of authenticity and a customer experience. I’ll give it some though and get back to you.


The comments for the various articles are hilarious. Interesting that we’re most drawn to the baffling murder mystery, and fascinating that the underwater computer headline was the one that got the most comments. I wonder if there’s a correlation in “talky-ness” – people who are apt to click on a certain headline are more inclined to comment?

Stacy S.

Aha! So I was right to worry about those Giant Clams!!


This is very clever. I hope you continue sharing on Linked In. You are giving me some great ideas for my blog.


How about adjusting the headline depending on the place of distribution. Some examples: Thailand Swallowed by Giant Chinese Clam! or Thailand Swallowed by Giant Extraterrestial Mollusk!

Perhaps changing the country would make for an interesting headline: North Korea Swallowed by US Clam or North Korea Swallowed by Japanese Clam
or Taliban Arranges to Have Pakistan Swallowed by Clam.


I think it is so interesting what people are interested in clicking on to read, and then the comments that they make. I find it most entertaining! This is a fascinating social experiment.

I do totally agree that many people don’t want to read anything that seems to be too much like the dismal daily news. Society is bombarded with so much of real life doom-and-gloom news. So if I am choosing to click and read, it is definitely not going to be more of the same.

As a side note, I’ve been wondering what kind of fruit I would want a man to smell like? This is requiring some thought on my part . . .


I think you are right about catchy or shocking tabloid headlines. Certainly they seem to attract attention, comments, followers on Twitter.

Here’s a fun one I saw the other day: “Panda Mating Fails. Veterinarian Takes Over.”


Ellen, I have learned so much about how to prepare an attention-grabber headline! Thank you so much.


Interesting subject. In the last year on my blog, the articles that generate the best responses are always lists: “9 Ways to Enhance Your Linked In Profile” or “5 Linked In Tricks You May Not Know.”

I think the headline depends upon your audience, so I can’t say for certain that numbered lists work everywhere, but they do on Linked In.


I think it is great if you capture readers’ attention and draw them to the article. Wow. There is so much competition for people’s time, so if you can get their interest and get them there, that is a huge accomplishment. Then if you give them something of substance when they get there – even better.

I will tell you one of the greatest reasons I will read something is that someone I know tells me it is interesting and sends me the link or the article. So I wonder if the power of friends and their influence could be leveraged?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if you had one title that you think would draw the most readers, put it out there with no marketing through friends and social networking, and then one title that you think might not be the biggest draw, but leveraged the power of influencers to promote it? I think the second group would get more clicks and reads. What do you think?

G. L.

I am using these catchy lead-ins when writing to my commercial real estate buyers. If the subject line is not catchy, then they dont bother opening any of the Blast E-mails.

A recent one that I just wrote regarding a regional mall for sale in TX was: “In Texas, Size Matters!”

Wow ! I got responses right away.

Having a good lead-in helps in this busy world we all work in.


I am fairly new to this game, but it seems that as a former TV journalist, the same rules apply. Catchy headlines. If it bleeds, it leads. You have three seconds to capture your audience.

To reach the broadest audience, it makes sense to me to reach into every available pot. To target a specific audience, you narrow down that pot. Make sense? Marketing 101, right? Interesting blogs, Ellen!


To return to reader Comments One, please go to:

To return to “Corpses, Mollusks, and Kinky Sex-How I Won the Blog Off,” click:

Comments One

November 27, 2009

Assorted Comments

From “Preparing For the Blog-Off” site:

Hi Ellen:

Great start you have here. I don’t have suggestions off the top of my head that are useful other than maybe a theme about Baby Boomers eating their young because Social Security and Medicare dry up? OK, see what I mean not very useful. Anyway, good luck to you.


I do not know about clams in Thailand but something on angry Baby Boomers sounds great!


Evil Cougar. Savvy and snarky. Love it! Call Courtney Cox’s agent. Seek product placement on her Fall TV pilot. :)


You got me to click!


Life is a bit about experiments and risk taking. If one does not attempt to take such actions, one will soon fade into oblivion. Interesting stuff will certainly bring me back here. All the best!


Corpse in gym locker would get a click from just about anyone!

I’d also read some blogs about your tabloid days and their relevance to today.


Ellen, the real question is: who in the Administration did the Guru know to get a gym locker big enough to hold a corpse?

More to the point: the Blog-off demonstrates that social media has become, well, media – just another communication channel that is gradually becoming owned and operated by marketers for the purpose of marketing.

If social media was just social, there’d be no discussion of SEO; no discussion of monetizing blogs, tweets, faces and all the rest; no media kit selling an audience to advertisers. I don’t mean to imply this is a bad thing. Probably just a case of the free market trying to handle activities that incur costs. I like having new choices for information and entertainment (anyone remember the “600 cable TV channels” we were supposed to be watching?).

And so . . . a marketing idea: use “traditional” media – get the news out about you (an old person – i.e., over age 25) fighting the good fight against all those 20- and 30-somethings who think they invented the Internet (it was the DOD, after all). It’s a battle of information (and experience, thoughtfulness and education) vs. hipness. Iron Butterfly vs. Lady Gaga – a perfect slant for a slow news day.

Bob S.

Baby Boomers as modern history’s Angriest Generation or should it be “Truly, The Angriest Generation Ever” ?


Good luck McCougar!


Ellen, My birthday is Monday so we will be entrants hand-in-hand. This is a brave thing you are doing. I tried to blog on my group’s website and I was totally a bust. Maybe you will give me the courage to try again. Good luck


I like the idea of humorous blogs or headlines. The more off-the-wall the better.

For example:

President Obama announces plans to tax clean air. Those who cannot pay will be forced to smoke.

Tuna spotted off Chinese coast having a party. Spokes-Tuna “Charley” says they’re celebrating the success of swine flu virus being blamed on pigs. Tuna scientists working on a sequel to be blamed on cows, lambs, and calamari.

Serious subjects you should discuss are:

Wealth disparity
New age billionaires
Socialization versus nationalization



Great headline . .got me to click and read the whole thing. Keep up the wonderful work.

Jeff S.

Hilarious Ellen! I was also curious about just how one gets a locker big enough to hold a body in. . . good luck with the bloggin!

Ann Lia

Ellen- Way to go! I’m rooting for you to win this one.


You’re going to do great Ellen!


Ellen, I would love to help you win!

I think that kinky sex with chocolate and adorable puppies is a great entrant. But let me know what you’d like me to do to help. I’d be thrilled to see you Blog Off Queen.


Love the headline! Just had to click on it, since it was in the Ivy League Linked In roundup.


Given that something like 80% of all web searches are for pornography, you simply can’t go wrong with a header like “Kinky Sex”.

If I were you, and given your theme of the Angiest Generation (which I think is dead on!), I’d go for the three topics that are guaranteed to make Baby Boomers most pissed/interested/excited:


Regards and good luck.


Had to click to find out if the Baby Boomer writer was exploring more delectable things. . . nice topic. Go, Ellen!


I like the Corpse headline. It is funny but pointed. I think you will go far.

P.S. I will post some of your blogs to the Social Media Sites.


Hi Ellen,

I find the Kinky Sex headline too confusing.

All three items are fabulous, but instead of adding energy to each other, each one carries the mind in an opposing direction. Chocolate kills dogs, and I don’t even want to know what puppies have to do with sex. I would see the headline and be afraid the article would be confusing and then pass.

Good luck with the Blog Off. I’m sure it’s a great way to gather traffic, but Lord only knows what it all means.


You got my attention! I look forward to seeing the Evil Cougar in you come out in your blogs!


Dear Ellen,

If you ever publish any stories on human resources, I would love to reprint them on my site. You are a wonderful writer!


Hi, Ellen,

May you indeed be the next Blog Queen.

I too am trying to get a handle on how exactly to navigate all of these sites which are suddenly all vying for our attention, like Linkedin, Plaxo, Twitter, and Facebook.

I love the Kinky Sex title. And who can resist puppies? Or chocolate? Perhaps champagne could also get attention. My hat is off to you, and I wish you every success!


Cool! Kinky sex while eating chocolate – and with puppies? But I prefer barnyard animals and a midget with a taser.


Great read!


Love the title Kinky Sex and Chocolate Truffles. But somehow adding the Adorable Puppies takes the imagination, for me, down a slippery slope to a dark place. Don’t like dark places. . . doesn’t feel good.


Greetings, Ellen,

Well, I read it, but not so much because of the headline, but more because you sent it. Although I can see why it would get attention. You will do well in the Blog-off.


We are living in precarious times, when a cat can have 500K followers on Twitter.

Content is king, but interaction is the magic bullet that can launch you to the top. Create a hashtag for those of us on Twitter to mark your blog with when we tweet. Add a video/ visual element. Add an action element as well.

As an “Evil Cougar” you may be in a unique position to add some historical perspective, something many Gen Y’s lack or have no appreciation for.

Many things that are happening now have happened in the past or might have even been predicted/hinted at in movies (See “Three Days of the Condor” as an example.)

I wish you all the luck – and hope you find as I have that the harder I work, the luckier I seem to be.


Followed this from Linked In. Funny stuff!

P.S. Evil Cougar?


I think there’s a double doorway to your postings. That’s good, right?

Re your comment about posting in multiple locations, have you tried Not for the full blog (only 140 characters), but you can certainly announce new blog updates simultaneously on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, WordPress and a host of other social media sites. Check it out.

Best of luck with your contest.


Hi, Ellen.

No matter who wins, you’re the most deserving! I loved what I read and will pass it along to other members of my network.

I guess I must be a kinky Baby Boomer who loves chocolate, dogs and whatever else was in your title. Have a great time with this contest and you definitely have my vote!


Well the headline certainly got my attention! Not sure if that makes me ‘normal’ or ‘kinky’. Anyway, happy to help. Let me know what I have to do.


Clever Ellen – and good luck with the contest!

If the idea is to simply maximise the number of hits, maybe go with the top general search topics. If you want quality hits (i.e. real readers or if referrals/RTs are important )then I guess you have to connect the heading to the post – something funny or topical/newsy?


This is a reality show I might actually watch. Winner gets their job back but has to pay 50% of salary and overpaid bonus to losers!

Scott B.

It should be an interesting contest.

One group will be made up of the timid souls that got laid off because they were so conservative, they never built any business. They’ll probably never get out of the starting gate.

The other team will be the group that was so aggressive, they either burst the bubble or got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Good luck in ever getting this group to form a team and do anything together.

I agree with Scott that I don’t usually watch reality shows, but this one could be interesting.


If I had some fresh peaches and wanted to have a romantic night, I would definitely read this one!

Scott A.

I like peaches and I like men, but maybe not together, though Scott does urge our minds to wander with his reply. And I am the first to answer “Just peachy!” when people ask me how I am.

Now, I think I’ll go cut up a peach for a midnight snack!


Women are great communicators, and mature women (like us!) have great wisdom to communicate. That may not result in SEO optimization, but it sure works out well in real life, real world optimization, doesn’t it!

PS: I love that my husband smells like cinnamon after a shower!


I’d rather see the headline “College Son’s laundry Found to be source of Swine Flu!”


I take it you’re going for the Ham connection? ‘Ham’sters – pork, etc. Funny. May get some traction.


Do you think the title of my seminar series, “Doctors: Greedy, Cheap and Lazy” fits the model of the Angry Boomer?

I’d enter a Blog-Off, if a botox treatment were one of the prizes.


You have my vote for the catch-phrase. Things haven’t worked out quite as they were supposed to for us Baby Boomers, and I’m seriously pissed.

Bob B.

Very amusing titles. You truly deserve to get win by creativity alone. Best wishes!


For more Comments, please go to: Comments Two

To return to “Corpses, Mollusks, and Kinky Sex-How I Won the Blog Off,” click:

Why This Blog

November 24, 2009

About From “Preparing for the Blog-Off”

This is a temporary blog to test our Faux Tabloid Headline strategy for the Great Blog-Off beginning next Monday.

If you want to know more about me, a good place to start is my Linked-In profile:

For about 50 examples of the more than 3,000 magazine articles I’ve published in the past 30 years:

For an interesting and wide-ranging interview with and about me:

(To return to “Corpses, Mollusks, and Kinky Sex-How I Won the Blog-Off,” go to: )